Why Taking 7 Steps To Becoming A Morning Person Is The Best Decision You Can Make

Why Taking 7 Steps To Becoming A Morning Person Is The Best Decision You Can Make

I promise, you can do it.
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Being awake before the rest of the world, is quite possibly the most paramount habit you can cultivate, not only for your success, but for your mental health and well being. There are less distractions in the early hours, and therefore you can focus on the tasks you need to get done immediately. You feel fresh and are not yet worn down by the people and situations you encounter throughout the day. You're essentially getting a head start on everything you need to undertake. That early morning commute to the gym will be smooth, as you are able to beat the dreadful rush hour traffic. And you will actually get to the gym because you can no longer say, "but I don't have the time." You won't have to rush your morning, and therefore can start the day feeling serenely positive. Imagine being excited to show up to that 8:30 a.m. class.

"You have to create a vision of yourself and your life that makes you excited to get up each morning."

1. Be Consistent.

Motivation only gets us so far. With constructing any productive habit in life, the essential aspect is being dedicated to the details that will move us closer to that end goal. Trying to lose weight? Did you workout today? Trying to wake up at 6 a.m.? Did you set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than you did yesterday? Breaking lazy routines is difficult because they are habits that we have ingrained our brains to become accustomed to. It is even more difficult to keep the new habit long term. This is why it is crucial to do something each and every day to bring you closer to your goal. There is a reason we often see this tip everywhere. It works.


2. Have Something to Look Forward to.

We all need a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I know that your new job may suck, or you have to finish that group project today, but like usual no one is answering your texts and you just want to punch everyone you're working with. In order to jump right out of bed in the morning we have to know that there is a reason to do so. We need that reason to be something more positively enforcing than, "If I don't get up I'll get fired." You know when you get a new outfit, and you're actually excited to get up the next day to be able to wear it? That is the kind of excitement you have to cultivate every single day (without breaking your bank account of course).

I have a small notebook next to my bed, and every night I write down three good things that happened that day, and three things I have to look forward to for the next day. I focus on anything that may possibly make me happy; that I get to have pumpkin coffee in the morning, that I am trying a new yoga class with my roommate, that I get to work with my favorite co worker. It is so important to recognize that there are good things that will happen each and every day, as this will keep you from dreading the day. Actually writing these things down really helps you to focus on them.

3. Prepare.

For most of us, our brains feel groggy when we first wake up in the morning. If we know that we have to make breakfast, pick out an outfit for the day, figure out where we possibly left our gym shoes, purse and keys; we'll be more inclined to stay in our warm bed. Be nice to your future sleepy self, and prepare everything you can the night before. You will be granting your future self a much higher percentage of actually getting out of that bed. Make your lunch and any other meals for the next day. Plan out your outfit, pack your gym bag, leave your purse by the door, and have your coffee mug ready next to the Keurig.

4. Have a Calm Alarm.

Waking up early is already a difficult task for most, but by making small changes we can turn it into an enjoyable experience. What is not enjoyable is having a blaring alarm that sounds as if you are in the middle of a construction zone. There are apps such as, Sleep Cycle, which have calmer alarms that start slowly and gradually build up, so you are not quite as startled waking up. I promise, starting your day without your heart racing is a wonderful thing.

5. Force Yourself.

Unfortunately, there is no magic secret to building and sustaining any habit. As mentioned in tip one, you just have to keep at it. You know what the benefits are, you know this is what you should be doing. So it just comes down to the fact that you have to keep forcing yourself until this habit is a part of you and your life. You have to stay committed to this task each and every day. Jason Selk, a contributor at Forbes, explains in more detail how to really cultivate a habit beyond the typical "21 days to build a habit" mantra we tend to hear.

6. Have A Set Routine.

Knowing exactly what needs to be done when you wake up, keeps your brain from convincing yourself that there isn't really any point to waking up early. Having that routine already set, gives your brain the pass from having to do any complicated thought in the morning, as you just get up and go into auto pilot. Wake up, get done what needs to get done and go on with your day.

7. Make Your Room Bright And Warm.

We tend to sleep more in the winter due to the cold and dreary weather. As stated by accuweather; "Lack of light can cause the body to produce more of the chemical, [melatonin], making the body feel tired and sluggish." There is absolutely nothing cozier than being cuddled in bed while the weather is brisk and dark. This is also the reason that many have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. To combat this, I tend to set my alarm for about a half hour before I need to wake up and turn my air off/my heat on, and open the window to let the natural sun come in once the sun rises. This way, once it is actually time for me to get up, I am not as inclined to stay in my sleepy trance under the warm blankets, due to that dread of facing the cold.

Try out these tips, and comment below how they're working for you!

Cover Image Credit: WordSwag

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I Drank Lemon Water For A Week And Here's What Happened

It has already changed my life.

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There are so many health crazes out there now, it's hard to tell what actually works and what doesn't; or more importantly what is healthy and what is making your body worse. I read about simply drinking lemon water and I figured that didn't sound gross or bad for me so I figured I would give it a try. I've been drinking it consistently for a week and a half and I already notice some results.

I've never been a fan of lemon in my water, I always refuse it at restaurants. You definitely have to find your sweet spot in lemon to water ratio, in what tastes good to you. I personally cut the lemon into quarters and use on quarter per day. I put the lemon quarter in the bottle and then continuously fill with water throughout the day. I still get the yummy lemon flavor all day because I do not squeeze the lemon. It took about a bottle or two to get used to the lemon flavor, and now I just crave it.

Lemon water is supposed to speed up your metabolism. Obviously, a week is not long enough to tell if this is fact or fiction but I have noticed a change in appetite. I feel like I do not get hungry as often as I did before. I saw this effect within 24-48 hours of starting the experiment. This seems opposite to a fast metabolism but we'll see.

I definitely feel more hydrated with lemon water. I drink a lot of water anyways, about 80 oz a day but for some reason with the lemon, it makes me feel better. I don't feel as sluggish, I'm not getting hot as easily, and my skin feels amazing. I am slightly skeptical though because the lemon almost makes my tongue dry requiring me to drink more water, so I have upped my intake by about 20oz. I'm unsure if the hydration is due to the extra water, the lemon, or both!

My face is clearing up and feels so much softer too, in only a week! I have not gotten a new pimple since I have started my lemon water kick, may be coincidence but I'm not going to argue with it.

I also feel skinnier as I feel like I'm not holding as much water weight. I only exercise lightly, for the most part, walking around a mile or two a day so we can eliminate exercise factor to the slender feeling.

I have a messy stomach. Everything upsets it, and even though lemons are very acidic, they have not affected me in a negative way at all. It almost seems like the lemon water is helping me digest the difficult foods that my stomach doesn't like. I'm nowhere near a doctor so don't trust my word but it seems to be working for me.

From the effects I've felt so far, it also seems like lemon water may be a great hangover cure! I haven't tried it but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I can't say a negative thing about drinking lemon water so far expect you have to buy the lemons! If you try this for yourself though just make sure you are using an enamel saving mouthwash or toothpaste since lemons aren't so great for your teeth.

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Learning How To Cope With Rejection

"We are stars wrapped in skin, the light you are seeking has always been within." - Rumi

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"Life sneaks up on us every once in a while and gives us something we didn't even know we wanted, and lights within us a love we didn't even know existed." - Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

I've never really been someone who needs other people to motivate me. Whether it was schoolwork, going to the gym, or trying new things, if I ever want to get something done, the motivation has to come from me. If I don't complete a task, I may try to pass the blame but deep down I know it's on me. However, knowing this about myself can sometimes be frustrating because often my eyes and dreams are bigger than I am willing to work for.

I can't count the number of times I have dreamt about a music career with stadium tours and platinum records or going to a top-tier university and getting the opportunity to create a successful start-up company. Sometimes the dreams will seem simple like planning every moment of my dream wedding or visualizing the day I have my first child. While all of those dreams would be amazing, I know they will not all come true. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.

I realize now that I can create my dream life out of what I do have, not out of what I wish I had. As Rumi said "the light is within" and I just need to find it. I know that good things don't just get handed to you, you have to work for them. But my brain works a little differently. When something doesn't go my way, it if anything makes me work even harder.

In December of 2016, I found out I got rejected Early Decision from my dream school. Sad, mad, and generally disappointed, I avoided this topic of conversation with everyone. It felt like a summer of essay-writing, test-taking, and four years of hard work had been thrown out the window. But it motivated me. It made me want to achieve something to prove them wrong.

Of course in the way that I deal with most emotions, I wrote a song about it and, with the help of my sister, posted it on my YouTube channel. It was a productive way of dealing with the rejection. Now that I am almost halfway through my second year at Emory, I truly believe it was for the best because it lit a light within me that I don't think could have come from anywhere else.

The university that I thought was my dream school told me they didn't want me. I built a thick skin (or thicker skin) with their rejection and gained a lot of strength because I had to. I'm sure I'm not the only person they have taught this lesson to and I'm sure I won't be the last. My heartbreak gave me more strength than I could have imagined and still motivates me to achieve greater things, things I thought were only a part of dreams.

"I am going to make you so proud" -Note to self.

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